Checking these two performance indicators daily will help you determine what is working, what is not, and help you make adjustments to your campaigns as necessary.
Weekly Management Tasks
If you are keeping up with your campaign by monitoring those two important daily performance indicators, you should only need to track the following performance indicators on a weekly basis. They are as follows.
Bid changes – Remember that anyone can bid on a keyword at any time. You want to keep a weekly eye on your competition to make sure someone is not outbidding you for a position on a keyword that is performing well for you. Additionally, someone may have dropped out of the race, and there is no need for you to bid extra for a bid than is necessary to get a conversion.
Budgets – After you have checked bid changes, run a weekly report to see if your allocated daily spend amount is reaching your allotted daily budget. If necessary, make adjustments to your campaigns, and reallocate more money to campaigns that are producing better results.
Project performance – Running a report on the project performance of your campaign for the past week will tell you if you are meeting your goals or not, and allow you to make adjustments. Try looking at your weekly spend and conversions in order to determine how well your overall project is performing.
Keyword performance – Since paid search is based around bidding on keywords, it’s important to track their performance weekly, if not bi-weekly. Consider the following tips.
– Pause keywords that aren’t performing
– Add negative keywords to your account. There is no need to pay for keywords that increase your CTR, but don’t really have much to do with the products and services you are promoting.
– Use SQRs, and keyword competitor analysis tools like our tools at iSpionage in order to monitor the competition. This will help you determine if you need to add any other keywords to your campaign that may perform well for you.
Impression share report – Checking your impressions will help you determine if your budget is too low, if you are targeting keywords that are too specific with low search volumes, and/or if you need to tighten up your match types. Ultimatley, checking your impression shares helps you see how far of a reach your campaign has and if what you are doing is effective enough to reach your target audience.
Ad Review – You should be testing out more than one ad per ad group at a time, if not more, in order to see which ads are performing well, and which ads are underperforming. You will want to check to see how your keywords are performing, your impressions, and also your ad copy.
Monthly Management Tasks
There are also a few important tasks to monitor on a monthly basis. They don’t require as much attention as your daily and weekly tasks, but you definitely shouldn’t forget about them either.
Check the Google Display Network – It’s important to manage which sites your ads are displayed on, so that you don’t show up on sites that sound correct to a search engine brain, but don’t make sense to a human brain. For example, if you sell baseball bats, you don’t want to end up on a website all about bats, the animal.
Run a monthly keyword report – Using a monthly keyword report will help you monitor changes from month-to-month, and help you identify the performance level of certain keywords.
Review your landing pages – The end of the month is a great time to see which of your landing pages are performing well, and which landing pages need to be updated. You can also create new landing pages based on the information that you collect.
Check for peak performance times – Did you know that certain ads perform better at different times of the day and months out of the year, depending on your particular industry. For example, if you sell Christmas cards, you may want to hit the advertising hard in Nov and Dec, as reflected in the picture below.
There is definitely no one-size fits all solution to when you the best time to advertise is, so you just have to sit down and crunch the numbers. A month of running an ad should allow you enough time to really analyze what days and times of the day your ads are performing the best. Once you identify the trend, you can modify your ad run schedule to match those times.
Check your geographical areas – The end of the month is also a great time to check to see how your ads are performing in the geographical locations you have selected. If you notice one geographical location isn’t performing well, you can ditch it and target different areas that may bring you more business.
Review all your campaign settings – Take the time each month to make sure that all of your settings are correct. This includes locations, devices, networks, etc.
Quarterly Management Tasks
Finally, there are a few tasks that are important to monitor on a quarterly basis. Monitoring data over a longer period of time can give you an idea about seasonal performance trends over a longer period of time. The more time you have to collect data, the more accurate your data readings will be.
Historical Performance Review – Every quarter, take some time to analyze account performance in general. This will help you see long-term trends.
CTR (click-through rate) Review – Take a look at your CTR. If you see keywords with a click-through rate below 1% that has a low return on investment (ROI), and/or a low quality score, consider pausing that keyword and reallocating your budget to a keyword with a higher CTR.
Quality Score – Your quality score is an estimate provided by Google that determines how relevant your ad campaigns are to the people who are searching for the kewords you are targeting. The higher the quality score, the better. Every quarter, you should check to make sure you don’t have any campaigns with a low quality score (1-4). If you notice you have a low quality score on any of your ad campaigns, address the issues, or pause the campaign until you identify how you can improve the overall relevancy of your ads. Keep in mind that Google does everything in its power to make sure the results they provide are relevant. That means, you should too.
Keyword trends – The longer you have to collect data, the easier it is to determine popular trends. Identifying these trends can help you create new campaigns that may prove to be successful.
Competitor review – You want to keep a good eye on competitor keywords on a weekly basis, but there are other elements to your competitor’s campaigns that you want to review quarterly. These include ad copy, landing pages, tracking devices, how many ads they are running, how they react to changes you are making in ad copy, analytics, etc. Keeping your finger on the pulse of your competition is important when it comes to PPC.
If you want to stay ahead of the game, and make sure you are getting the most out of your PPC campaign, then make sure you are keeping a close eye on every action you take. Consider printing out a checklist of your daily, weekly, month, and quarterly paid search management action items, and working it into your schedule. If you don’t manage the campaigns yourself, make sure the team you have hired to help you follows these management tactics.